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Tea and Books

When I was a child I used books to escape, to find a world of adventure, or safety, or deep longing and fulfilling emotional connection, or magic other than the magic of my ancestors that seemed more like empty promises at the time (though that’s a story for another time.) I would open a book and watch people cast spells, or hike across a hot desert in search of a safe haven. I made gold with the alchemists, and was initiated into deeply hidden and secret societies. I watched dueling matches, and played poker with the best. I even became a vampire… a few dozen times.

But, as is the case with so many of us, as I began to grow older, and go through different things in this world, I found myself having to put forth more and more effort to really transport myself into the world of the written (or spoken, as the case may be) world.

I hope you find adventure, love, tragedy, drama, joy and most of all ~magic~ through my method of mixing herbs together in purposeful combinations to help give your mind that little push it needs to read through the lens of your inner child.

Feel free to follow this as carefully laid out instructions, or to pick and choose from my methods and suggestions and mix them with your own. Most important thing, is that you enjoy your experience, you give yourself the credit you deserve for taking this time to yourself, and drink some tea while reading!

(For those of you who don’t like tea, I’ve added a simple hot chocolate recipe I learned from a medicine woman in Mexico, and a spiced coffee recipe from my step-father who is a wonderful mystic.)

First, find yourself a comfortable, and safe space to read. This can be a reading nook you’ve created in your home, surrounded by pillows and rugs and books and mahogany, or this can be the driver seat of your car where your family can’t find you. Whatever you have, set it up so that you feel happy, safe and focused in that space.

For me, I live in a tiny house with my wife and two dogs so I usually go outside or hide in the corner of my bed, bring all my crystals and journals, and books and tarot cards and whatever else I've decided I need for the single task of reading a book, if I'm inside I surround myself with pillows, and I light some incense or candles to make my reading space feel special, and full of magic. So, like I said, feel free to do exactly what I do, or none of what I do, but that's my own little ritual for what I like to call "visual reading" where I kick back, turn on an audio book or crack open a paperback and let my soul hop right on in to a world that is not my own.

Now that you’ve gathered your most important reading accessories, let's make some tea!

These ingredients can be found at your local herbal store, or supermarket, so no matter where you are or what your preference is, you should be able to find these herbs (Its also totally acceptable to rip open store bought tea and remix that way)! Here’s what you’ll need:

A tea bag/ball or a strainer, Lavender, Camomile flowers, Green tea, Rose Petals and Mugwort (you may need to visit an herb or metaphysical store to find mugwort, though some smoke shops may be able to provide this hers as well, if they sell smoking herbs such as lavender, etc.).

Here’s why; Lavender and Camomile will help relax you, and get your physical body into a state where it is ready to be in a seated and/or sedentary position for an extended period of time (not to mention the smell of lavender eases stress). Green tea will wake you up, and allow your mind to feel alert and focused even while in a relaxed state. And rose petals and mugwort (especially mugwort) will encourage your mind to move into a dream-like state which will help your inner eye envision the images you’re trying to conjure with the words you’re reading. Mugwort may be especially helpful if your inner mind does not think visually, as it may help your eyes create a subtle image outwardly.

Step 1: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. While water is heating up, mix your herbs. You can mix and match, or throw them all together and mix them up as a complete “Inner Child Eyes” tea. Fill the tea bag/ball with 2 tsp of your herbal mixture.

Step 2: Once the water has come to a boil, let cool for 3-5 minutes. Pour water into a mug or teapot and steep the herbs for 5-10 minutes depending on how strong you like your tea.

Step 3: Add sugar, milk, nut/oat milk, honey, etc. to taste.

Step 4: Sit down in your comfortable reading area, sip, and dive into the world of books.

-Written with love by the amazing Neshama Gloria-

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